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LA County voters to decide whether adult films need condoms

Los Angeles County voters will decide this November whether performers who pornographic films should be required to wear condoms. Above is Los Angeles County's official condom wrapper.

The question of whether adults performing in pornographic films should be required to use condoms on set will be put to Los Angeles County voters in November.

With a 3-1-1 vote, the Board of Supervisors agreed to place the “Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry” measure on the ballot. Supervisor Gloria Molina was the dissenting vote, with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas abstaining.

If approved, performers who participate in adult films in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County would be required to use condoms during intercourse scenes. The 85 cities that receive Public Health services from L.A. County would have to incorporate the requirement into their municipal codes. Pasadena, Long Beach and Vernon have their own health agencies. 

In addition to obtaining a health permit, film producers would have to go through blood pathogen training and provide an exposure control plan. Violators would have their permits revoked and could face civil fines and misdemeanor penalties.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation backed the measure in an effort to reduce incidents of sexually transmitted diseases.

“The focus of this measure is on the health and safety of the performers in the workplace who are subjected to conditions that other workers are not subjected to, and it is merely a law that was designed to address those issues,” said Stephen Kaufman, an attorney for AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

However, that argument drew criticism from Supervisor Gloria Molina, who questioned the county’s role in regulating workplace safety.

“We’re all in favor of safe sex. We’re all in favor of porno stars using condoms … but the issue is the issue of liability for the county and all of the money that the residents of L.A. County will have to pay,” Molina said.

Attorneys for the pornography industry, who said the issue is a matter of free speech, oppose the measure.

The two-year program that would be created by the measure would cost $582,000. Permit fees would offset those costs, according to the Department of Public Health.

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